Moscow: Hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a military offensive against Ukraine, Russia's defence ministry said Thursday it had neutralised Ukrainian military airbases and its air defence systems.
"Military infrastructure at Ukrainian army air bases has been rendered out of action," the defence ministry said in a statement carried by news agencies, which added that Kyiv's air defence systems were "eliminated".
Meanwhile, Ukraine military said that five Russian planes and a Russian helicopter were shot down in Luhansk region, reported Reuters.
Air raid sirens went off in Kyiv and smoke was reportedly seen rising from major airbases outside cities of Kharkiv on Thursday.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy declared martial law in the country and said Russia had carried out missile strikes on Ukrainian infrastructure and the country’s border guards.